shortcut to content
Minnesota State University, Mankato
Minnesota State University, Mankato

Collection Development Policies

Page address:

I. General Policy

II. Audio Recordings Collection Development Policy

III. Electronic Resources Policy

IV. Lass Center Policy

V. Media Materials Collection Development Policy

VI. MSU Authors Collection Policy

VII. Reference Policy

VlII. Serials Policy

IX. Video/DVD/Film Collection Development Policy



I. Purpose
II. Mission
III. Management Responsibility
IV. Intellectual Freedom
V. Relationship with Other Libraries
VI. Objectives
VII. Limitations
VIII. Duplication
IX. Forms and Types of Materials
X. Special Collections
XI. Collection Maintenance and Preservation
XII. Appendix


Collection development is defined as the process of planning, building and maintaining a library’s information resources.  Collection development policies are used by libraries as planning tools in the selection and retention of materials.   Furthermore, these policies communicate collection guidelines to the academic faculty and university administration.  They also represent a commitment to each academic area for funds, space, and staff in the Library.


The mission of the Library is to support the curriculum of Minnesota State University, Mankato by providing students, faculty, and staff with information resources and access to information through traditional and evolving technologies.  A secondary mission is to serve as a regional information center for residents of southern Minnesota.


Responsibility for the management of library resources and the policy decisions related to this function rests with the library faculty, under the leadership of the Collection Development Coordinator.  In addition to joint responsibility for the entire collection, each library faculty member is assigned specific areas of collection responsibility.  These areas may be one or more specific academic departments or they may be a special collection within the Library, i.e., juvenile books, videos, etc.  The library faculty meets on a regular basis to discuss collection development issues which are of library wide concern. Interested and active teaching faculty participation is invaluable to intelligent selection and retention decisions, for this makes available the expert knowledge of the subject specialist over the entire range and variety of material to be covered.  Therefore, library faculty will actively solicit the involvement of teaching faculty in appropriate departments and subject areas.   However, ultimate responsibility for selection decisions rests with the library faculty.


Memorial Library strongly supports the concept of intellectual freedom.  All collection management decisions at this library will be made in accordance with the Library Bill of Rights.

Any complaint brought against the Library must be submitted in writing, using the Request to Challenge an Item in the MSU Library Collection.  This form will be submitted to the Collection Development Coordinator.  S/he will bring the complaint before the library faculty, who will recommend a course of action to the Dean of the Library.  The Dean will issue a written response to the person or group bringing the complaint.  The decision of the Dean is final.


No library can provide all the resources which are needed by the community which it serves.  For that reason, libraries of all types enter into cooperative agreements through which they can augment their own collections. The Library at Minnesota State University, Mankato, in implementing the guidelines stated in this policy, will recognize and honor its commitment to cooperate with the other Minnesota State Colleges and Universities libraries, MINITEX (Minnesota Inter-library Telecommunication Exchange), and other academic and public libraries in the southern Minnesota region.  When feasible, active efforts will be made to identify activities and functions which can be carried out cooperatively with these and other libraries and which will enhance the services and collections that can be offered to our students and faculty.


In order to fulfill its mission, the Library plans to make available, within its financial and other limitations, the resources required to meet these four objectives:

  1. To provide resources adequate to support all current instruction needs of University graduate and undergraduate programs.  Faculty research needs will be supported as funds allow.
  2. To provide basic resources in related subject areas not covered by present programs.
  3. To provide minimal resources, of a general nature, in other subject areas.
  4. To work closely with the University Archives and Southern Minnesota History Collection in acquiring, preserving, and making available materials relating to the history of the University and the region.


It may not be possible, for financial reasons and/or lack of space, to meet the above objectives adequately.  Therefore, the Library will observe the following general collection development and acquisitions guidelines:

  1. Current resources of lasting and scholarly value will be given priority over older, popular, or out of print materials.
  2. In general, English language materials will be given priority over resources in a foreign language, with the exception of materials purchased for the Modern Languages department.
  3. Cooperative programs will be used to provide access to infrequently used research materials.  Particular consideration will be given to the Library’s participation in  Minitex cooperative efforts and to its relationships with other libraries in the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system.
  4. Materials may be acquired and/or retained in another suitable format if the original format is not available, is too expensive, or requires an inordinate amount of storage space.
  5. Variant editions of a title will be acquired only if they are “standard” editions or contain substantial additional material that is needed for instructional or research purposes.


Because of limited funds, duplicate materials will be acquired in accordance with the following guidelines:

  1. Multiple demand and heavy, continuous use will be the primary consideration.
  2. No duplicate resources will be acquired solely for the sake of preservation except in the case of materials purchased for the Lass Center.
  3. Materials will not be duplicated for the sole use of individuals or academic departments.
  4. In general, duplicate copies will not be purchased for the Main Library and the Music Library.
  5. Variant formats will not be considered duplicate copies.


1. Books

(a)      The collection should contain an adequate number, for each curricular field, of books concerning:

1.   the field as a whole,
2.   those divisions of the field in which courses are offered.,
3.   other significant divisions of the field.

(b) The collection should contain an adequate number of works concerning important specific fields of interest that are not treated in the curriculum.

2. Rare Books

Rare books will not be purchased unless they are needed for instructional and/or research purposes.

3. Textbooks

The Library may selectively acquire textbooks adopted as required texts for a given university course. Course textbooks may be purchased when subject librarians and teaching faculty agree that they provide benefit to the general collection and are financially sustainable. Some textbooks not used for university courses are valuable as reference and research works in their own right and may be acquired in support of the general collection.

4. Theses and Alternate Plan B Papers

(a) An archival copy of all theses and alternate plan B papers will be retained permanently in the University Archives.  A second copy of the thesis or alternate plan B paper will be added to the Library’s circulating collection.

(b) Dissertations from other institutions will be purchased only in special cases, in microform, unless the anticipated frequency of use indicates the need for hard copy.

5. Out of print Books

Efforts to obtain materials on the out of print market will be made if the material is of enough importance to justify those efforts.

6. Gifts

Gifts and donations are an important part of the acquisitions program to support the Library's mission. The Library appreciates gifts of money, books and other resources that meet the Library Services Gift Guidelines. These guidelines are needed and enforced because significant amounts of staff time and other costs are associated with the processing of donated materials.


(a) Donated material becomes the property of the Minnesota State Mankato Library, to be used at the discretion of the Library. The Library will not accept a gift of materials if the gift is subject to any conditions regarding the disposition, location or use of the materials.

(b) Gifts of books or other materials must meet the same evaluative requirements as materials that are purchased. The criteria for both general and special collections are described in detail elsewhere in this policy.

(c) Generally, the Library will not maintain a gift collection as a separate entity.

(d) The Library will process gifts as time and priorities allow and will dispose of any unneeded materials as part of its normal collection maintenance policy.

(e) The Library will supply the donor with a gift acknowledgment form. Library Services cannot appraise gifts for tax purposes. If an appraisal is needed, the donor must have items appraised prior to donating the materials. The appraisal is the responsibility of the donor.

(f) At the discretion of the Collection Development Librarian, a gift of more than 50 items may require consultation with Library personnel in the areas that will be affected if the gift is accepted.

(g) Acceptance of any gift of materials to the Southern Minnesota History Center or University Archives will be determined by the University Archivist, in consultation with other University personnel as appropriate.

(h) If the Library is asked to accept collections of materials that have been developed elsewhere on the Minnesota State University, Mankato campus, the Library will apply these guidelines as they work with those responsible for the collections and determine the Library's role in maintaining those collections.

7. Best sellers

The Library acquires selected hardbound fiction and nonfiction best sellers at the time of their popularity.  These works serve the dual purpose of satisfying recreational and leisure reading needs of MSU faculty, students and staff and  providing a record of popular culture in the United States.  In addition, some “best sellers” become classics in their fields and have enduring value.

Best sellers will be purchased in accordance with the following guidelines:

(a) Normally, titles will be considered for purchase when they appear on either the New York Times or the Publishers Weekly best sellers lists.

(b) Additional considerations will be:

1.  importance of the author;
2.  significance of the subject matter in an academic setting;
3.  quality of the reviews.

(c) Normally, only one copy of a title will be acquired.

(d) Titles on paperback best sellers lists will not usually be purchased.

(e) Titles will normally be purchased in hardcover, paper editions.



The following special collections are identified within the Library.  Each of these collections has a separate collection development policy statement.

II. Audio Recordings Collection Development Policy

III. Electronic Resources Policy

IV. Lass Center Policy

V. Media Materials Collection Development Policy

VI. MSU Authors Collection Policy

VII. Reference Policy

VlII. Serials Policy

IX. Video/DVD/Film Collection Development Policy


1. Book Mending

(a) Worn or damaged books will be mended if it is feasible and the book has sufficient ongoing value.

(b) If a title is otherwise unavailable, a preservation copy of the worn or damaged book may be made and bound for the collection.

2. Replacements

(a) Lost or worn materials will be considered for replacement based on the following criteria:

1. Demand for the specific item
2. Number of copies held
3. Availability in the region
4. Existing coverage of the subject within the library’s holdings
5. Availability of newer and better materials on the subject
6. Price of the replacement copy
7. Availability in other formats
8. Appropriateness for the collection, i.e., the item meets existing selection criteria for materials in the subject area
9. Item cannot be mended

(b) When a lost or worn resource which is in heavy demand cannot be replaced,
alternative materials in the same subject area will be considered.
3. Binding

(a) New books will be rebound into hardcover when:

1. heavy use is anticipated,
2. the book is one of lasting importance, or
3. the book is deemed to have a non-durable  binding.

(b) Worn or damaged books will be considered for rebinding using the following criteria:

1. Ongoing value of the title
2. Demand for the title
3. Availability of replacement copy
4. Cost of rebinding versus cost of replacement
5. Physical condition of the contents, including quality of paper, margins and illustrations
6. Number of copies available

4. Evaluation and deselection

Deselection is defined as the withdrawing of damaged or obsolete materials from the Library’s collections.  Continued evaluation and withdrawal of materials contributes to a vital library collection and is an integral part of collection development and maintenance.

(a) Responsibility

Library faculty are responsible for evaluating the collection in their areas on a continuing basis.

(b) Criteria

1. In general, the same criteria apply to deselection as to the selection of new materials.
2. Materials that fall into the following categories may be considered for withdrawal:

a. Superseded editions
b. Items in poor physical condition
c. Duplicate copies of seldom used titles
d. Materials which contain outdated or inaccurate information
e. Materials which support discontinued academic programs
f. Materials which have not circulated for ten or more years


Request to Challenge an Item in the MSU Library Collection

Return to Top